Spiers, Edward M.


Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1st ed., 1980. Viii + 240 pp., t-p., ill., + 5 photo & other plates. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. Viscount Haldane has been widely credited (and indeed credited himself) as the man who, in the hour of need, insured that Britain had an Expeditionary Force and a Territorial Army. How far does his reputation stand up to scrutiny today? The author, who was at the time the lecturer in Defence Studies at Leeds University, shows how political pressures, the legacy of past debates, economic and military constraints, themselves had a larger and more shaping role on events than often recognised. This is a thorough, considered and informed study. In reassessing Haldane's effectiveness both as administrator and as politician during his years as Secretary of State for War (1905-12), the author greatly improves our understanding of strategic planning between the end of the Boer War and the onset of 1914.

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